Fri. Mar 24th, 2023
Nintendo brings its competition

As part of the run-up to next month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, Nintendo is hosting its first “World Championship” competition in 25 years.

Details are scarce at this point, but qualifiers are scheduled for May 30, leading up to a final match live from Los Angeles (and streamed online) on June 14, the Sunday before E3 officially begins. In the announcement video below, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime gets it ready for the cameras and “quits” his job to train for the tournament on “classic” hardware like the Power Pad, the Super Scope and the Virtual Boy. That could be taken as a hint that retro Nintendo titles will be an integral part of the tournament…or maybe we’re reading too much into it.

The first and only Nintendo World Championships were held in 1990, with Nintendo touring cities across the US (so much for the “world” part) testing players’ skills on a special six-and-a-half-minute cartridge made up of parts of Super Mario Bros., Wheel RacerAnd Tetris. Local contest winners were flown to the finals at Universal Studios Hollywood, where they competed in one of three age groups for prizes, including a Geo Metro convertible and a 40-inch TV. If all that sounds familiar, maybe it’s because of the 1989 movie The Wizard played a similar match.

The original MWC competition is best known today for the ultra-rare competition cartridges given to contestants and contest winners, which are now among the most sought-after collectibles in the gaming industry. Those carts received renewed interest last year after tens of thousands of dollars were bid for them on several eBay auctions, though there is some evidence that this may have been due to “shill bidding.”

Last year, Nintendo’s pre-E3 festivities included a Super Smash Bros. invitational tournament, featuring professional players and walk-on players competing live on stage in front of a crowd of thousands at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

Nintendo also announced today that it will once again forego a formal press conference at this year’s show in favor of a live-streamed “Digital Event,” scheduled for 9 a.m. Pacific Time on June 16. The company will also offer North American players around the country the opportunity to play Mario Maker ahead of release at select Best Buy locations on June 17 and June 20.

By akfire1

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